Operation Boo 2019

The California Department of Corrections’ (CDCR) Division of Adult Parole Operations (DAPO) wants you to have a happy Halloween trick-or-treat experience with your kids, relatives and friends knowing that incidents of sexual abuse against children haven’t been prevalent in California in the more than two decades since Operation Boo has been enforced. CDCR’s Parole Agents will again be out in many of our communities statewide for the 26th year of Operation Boo!  Below is some important information to help ensure your kids and teens are safe from sexual molestation, not only on Halloween but always.

Title Graphic:  Have a fun and Safe Halloween!  From Boo to you!

Boo Tips

comical looking illustrated bird

The California Department of Corrections’ (CDCR) Division of Adult Parole Operations (DAPO) has compiled a free, online and downloadable parent empowerment guide- Boo Tips.  The guide allows parents and guardians to choose how and what they want to teach their children about this important topic. The guide has:

  • a variety of unscary ways, written by experts,  to talk to your child or teens in an age-appropriate manner about setting personal boundaries and spotting dangerous behavior in others.
  • Links to different non-profit organizations’ websites that provide support to parents and guardians who are concerned about strange or suspicious behavior,  support for victims and guidance for people who experience disturbing urges.
  • The popular link to the Californian Department of Justice Megan’s Law website where you can input an address and see where sex-offenders live in that area.  The site makes it easy to plan a trick-or-treat route that steers clear of sex-offender’s homes.

Why is this important?

Statistics from the U.S. Department of Justice show a staggering need to make parents aware that it isn’t strangers who most often molest children. The vast majority of people who sexually assault children are people well known to the child and their family.

Even though just one such case is too many, research shows that only a small percentage (10%) of molestation cases involves strangers abducting and abusing children.   The U.S. Department of Justice says most sex-abuse against kids is committed by people they know and trust.

  • 30% of all child molesters are the children’s own family members.
  • Twice that many, about 60%, aren’t family members — but they are known to the child.  They’re family friends, babysitters, child care providers, or neighbors.
  • And it’s not just adults; 23% of reported cases are committed by people younger than 18 years of age.

Parents also need to know that only a percentage of all sex offenders in California are under supervision by CDCR’s DAPO. Per the Megan’s law website, there are 73,642 registered sex offenders in California. As of September 30, 2019 there were a total of 10,403 sex registrants who are active parolees under CDCR’s supervision.   That’s less than 14% of the total known sex offenders in the state. So, awareness can go a long way in helping keep children safe – not just on Halloween, but all the time.

The Tradition

On Halloween night, DAPO’s Special GPS Units and Parole Agents and their local law enforcement partners will conduct the traditional compliance checks on known sex offenders to make sure they’re staying away from trick-or-treaters. We’ll also have special transient sex-offender curfew centers set up where they are most needed.

parole officers knocking on door

DAPO has been conducting Operation Boo since 1994. Operation Boo is held statewide in California on Halloween night. Known sex offenders supervised by DAPO are monitored closely by agents to ensure that they don’t attempt to attract children to their homes. Special Conditions of Parole are imposed on sex offenders for Halloween night.

◦All exterior lights of their homes must be turned off so that it looks as if no one is home, which discourages children from approaching; ◦No offering of Halloween candy and no Halloween decorations are allowed; ◦During the curfew, sex offender parolees can only open the door to respond to law enforcement, such as parole agents who are patrolling their caseload to ensure compliance.

Halloween Conditions of Parole for Active Sex-Offender Parolees

  • A 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew during which sex-offender parolees with a residence of record must remain indoors;
  • All exterior lights of their homes must be turned off so that it looks as if no one is home, which discourages children from approaching;
  • No offering of Halloween candy and no Halloween decorations are allowed;
  • During the curfew, sex offender parolees can only open the door to respond to law enforcement, such as parole agents who are patrolling their caseload to ensure compliance.

Transient Sex Offender Monitoring

Since a significant number of sex-offenders are also homeless, special centers will be set up for Halloween Night in most regions of the state from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sex-offenders will have to report to these Transient Sex-offender Curfew Centers to abide by the Halloween night curfew under the watchful eye of law enforcement officers.

Media Coverage

CDCR’s Communications Office will coordinate state-wide media coverage of Operation Boo with the Regional Parole Units and Public Information Officers. To see some samples of past years’ coverage, please click on the links below:

ABC 10 Sacramento/ California Parole Agents conduct ‘Operation Boo!’: https://youtu.be/ee5yIeumsxI

Only On 2/ CBS LA: ‘Operation Boo’ Goes Door-To-Door On Halloween To Keep Kids Safe From Sex Offenders: https://youtu.be/yFalIoWycRE

 ‘Operation Boo’ makes seven local paroled sex offender arrests / KERO Bakersfield: https://youtu.be/ld7iZvZ378k

Operation Boo: Parole officers keep Halloween predator-free/KBAK Bakersfield:https://youtu.be/AnoHp9S0_xY

Parole agents conduct Operation Boo in SLO to keep sex offenders from kids during Halloween/  KSBY San Luis Obispo https://youtu.be/GNKT_LyRmk0

Parole agents keep kids safe Halloween with ‘Operation Boo’ / KSBY Monterrey https://youtu.be/5iB8sRgVXg4